Exercise: One of Your Pain Friends

Hey everyone! I’ve got a video post again today. This time on exercise, and specifically core exercises, which are great for your hips! (Weird, I know.)


  • Exercise is great for combating physical pain and depression (can also prevent depression).
  • Strong core = strong hips
  • Start with shorter planks (45 seconds for front, 30 seconds for side) and work your way up.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a professional athlete, personal trainer, etc. Please consult with your doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist, or personal trainer if you are switching up or starting a new exercise routine.

Take Care!

Hydroxychloroquine & Covid-19 Deaths…What Does it Mean for Us?

As many of you probably recall, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, both of which are antimalarials and often used in the treatment of lupus/SLE were being tested a few months ago as a potential treatment for Covid-19. US President Trump of course quickly jumped on this bandwagon proclaiming that it was a “game-changer.” This was said, of course, as testing was being started, not because of results of testing that had finished. As a result, I remember seeing many Spoonies, particularly those with lupus panicking because they couldn’t get their medications as quickly. And to be honest, I quickly went and refilled my own prescription. Though I’m only borderline for lupus, my rheumatologist kept me on the drug as it seems to have helped my symptoms over the past few years.

Now, results of the first study have been reported in the medical journal The Lancet. And those results aren’t exactly great… Of those patients who received hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as a treatment, many of them ended up with heart problems and died as a result. So my question is, what does that mean for those of us who are regularly prescribed these meds? As North America starts to open up again (too soon here in Ontario given our daily cases, and WAAAAY too soon in the States given that they haven’t come close to flattening the curve, does that put myself and everyone else at a higher risk of death if we do get Covid-19?

IMG_7081 2Good thing I stocked up… bad thing it could be dangerous.

Unfortunately from what I read in news articles, I couldn’t find an answer. And no, I haven’t read the study itself in The Lancet (I can only read so many journal articles in a week and I have to read a lot of them for school), so I don’t have an answer. It does make me weary though. I didn’t want to get Covid-19 in the first place, but now I’m feeling more apprehensive about it. I’m very curious how my other Spoonies/Warriors are feeling about all of this and what precautions everyone is taking. Last week I was told to expect to be back at work in the next 2-3 weeks, and I work with the public. And while my company is providing masks to employees, we already know that is just to protect others, and masks don’t actually protect us, which means I have to trust the public to come in with masks as well (based on what I’ve seen, I don’t trust most people). At the same time, as a furloughed employee, I have to return to work when called in. Quite the predicament.

downloadImage from: https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/acts/2020/05/read-my-lips-coworkers-create-clear-masks-for-hearing-impaired-manager-of-lehigh-valley-best-buy.html

Here is the link to a news article from the Washington Post about it:

Washington Post: Hydroxychloroquine Study

I’m hoping more information comes in about hydroxychloroquine and Covid-19, and what the hell that means for us. I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on all of this, so please leave a comment, send an email (janeversuspain@gmail.com) or DM me on instagram (@janeversuspain). Stay safe.

Self-Isolation Updates

I’ve been trying to keep productive during lockdown/social-isolation/whatever you want to call it. There are a few reasons for this. First, I think it helps to protect my mental health (actually I think it helps to protect most people’s mental health). Sitting around watching movies and playing video games fun for a day, maybe too but then boredom sets in, loneliness sets in, anxiety and depression set in. There is actually a ton of research to support social isolation as being contributors to both depression and suicide. So, I knew from very early on that I would have to keep a schedule, a to-do list, and make some goals for myself.

IMG_6301Hiking trail in the city. Gotta keep that body moving.

One of these goals was around my physical health – I need to exercise daily. And I have been. I go for two walks a day (there was may a day or two where I only did one). I try to keep the walks at the 45 minute marker. I also do at-home body-weight workout routines Not everyday but most days. It’s helpful for my chronic pain. My physio offers virtual appointments and has given me stretches and exercises to do. I do yoga every other day. Basically, I don’t want to make my health worse, and in turn I feel like I’ve improved it (a bit, I really can’t wait until I can see my chiropractor, massage therapist, and naturopath).

IMG_6920Also looking at starting a podcast.

Second goal was to do my 30-day self-care challenge. Well, there are just three days left of it! It’s been amazing and I also think it’s helped my mental and emotional health by purposefully allowing me to take care of my needs, including ones I don’t think about as often. Today aromatherapy is on the agenda (well tonight it is because it’s a beautiful day outside so I’m spending as much as of the afternoon out here as possible).

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 12.47.08 PMSo excited that I got a draft done!

Third goal was to write a book. This is a book I’ve had an idea for just over a year. It’s called The Single Ladies Guide to Chronic Pain. Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve written the first draft! Having the time to actually research and write and really think about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it was a blessing in disguise. The book is my perspective on how to live a fabulous single lady life while dealing with chronic pain. I discuss much of what is explored in this blog but in much greater detail – dating, sex, physical health, mental health, chronic illness in the media, travel, support, coping, self-care, and budgeting/prioritizing your life. Next goal (after the next draft is written that is) is to try and get it published. While I realize that life will be more toward the normal side by the time it does (I’m being very optimistic), having goals helps me keep pushing forward in life. Even if your goals are small, set them for yourself so you can be the amazing single lady (or man, or married person, or whatever) that you are.

Self-Isolation Reflections

Self-isolation is certainly difficult for most of us. Regardless of what we are going through on a personal level, be it chronic pain or mental illness or just daily stresses of working from home and dealing with children. This certainly hasn’t been an easy (albeit it is a necessary time). I’ve seen much of this first-hand through my volunteering experiences.

kLRKHAzMRQmbgKWa1WVsGQMy 34th birthday in Costa Rica (2019) when I devoured a vegan mousse and was seranded by an amazing musician, while hanging out with one of my besties.

And yet, as I sit here and reflect on my birthday (which is today and yes, I’m spending it alone in self-isolation), I keep an optimistic outlook for the future. Because to me, this is just one birthday. I know that not everyone is capable of getting to the point where they can see it that way right now, and that’s understandable. The truth is, even if “life changes” because of the pandemic, life is always changing anyway. We are always in just a moment of time which is fleeting and passing. It is up to us to decide what to do with that time. We are given the freedom of free will, and the responsibility to do with that free will whatever we choose. It is us who can seek out meaning. We can choose to dwell on the past, instances in which we’ve been hurt or done the hurting. Or we can choose to look into the future with a brighter perspective. That this isn’t it. That life is about growth. This is how I choose to think as we head into the ’20s.

MU7JYEypRQq0J57UXtjy9wMy 35th birthday (2020) is being spent hanging out with this little guy.

Have a beautiful May 14th everyone.

Virtual Healthcare

Not surprisingly, because of our current world situation, I’ve had to look into some virtual healthcare options recently. Or, rather, some of my health care specialists have brought these options to me. Over the past three and a half years, I haven’t gone this long without some sort of appointment to health with my physical health – physiotherapy, chiropractor, naturopath, massage. Yes, I can still take my medications and natural supplements/remedies, and exercises/stretches/yoga, but my body is really starting to feel pain in areas that I normally manage much better – like my back (upper, middle, lower), neck, and even knee/ankle/foot. And of course there is that nasty hip tear that lingers around. Not having those regular adjustments, acupuncture, massages, and other physical touches that help my pain has been well, a real pain. Luckily, I’ve been able to do two types of virtual healthcare.

partie-julienImage from: https://www.humancapitalbenefits.com/virtual-healthcare-is-revolutionizing-the-industry/

First: psychotherapy. My psychotherapist was actual the first of my extended health team to bring this option to my attention. She even offers discount rates to clients who need more sessions that normal due to self-isolating and the effects on mental health (I stuck with my regular schedule). She uses a secure platform for mental telehealth (basically we video chat). I find it works well. Which makes sense given that talk therapy is the same whether it’s in person or over video. I also love the idea of this being an option for me in the future as a therapist as it allows for more freedom in general. My rating of virtual psychotherapy: 2 thumbs up.

what-is-online-therapy-2795752_finalrevised_logo-2a57d0f82a99465581dc18069d021cddImage from: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-online-therapy-2795752

Second: physiotherapy. So normally my physiotherapist does things like stretch my legs, hips out, and uses the laser and/or bumper machines on me. Those options are obviously taken away. However, also using a secure virtual video platform, my physiotherapist was able to demonstrate some exercises and have me try them. We were also able to discuss what I was doing for exercises (my crazy body weight workouts and yoga), as well as have a discussion about the body-mind interactions of pain. Overall, I was pleasantly happy with the virtual platform. My rating of virtual psychotherapy: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

virtual-telehealth-physiotherapy-chiropractic-and-naturopathy-in-torontoImage from: https://rebalancetoronto.com/virtual-telehealth-appointments-connecting-you-to-the-care-you-need/

If you’re struggling with your physical and or mental health right now, seriously look into whether your regular health care team is offering these types of services or look into these services as options even if they are with your regular supports. My insurance still covers the virtual physio, which is great, but even if yours doesn’t or you don’t have insurance these options are extremely helpful and no more expensive than normal.

sgPpxaDrQImkkx+Vk%szJgWhen Spike struggles, he just cuddles his sloth.

As part of Mental Health week, I also want to remind everyone that if you are in crisis with your mental health, please reach out to a Crisis Hotline or Crisis Text Line. I volunteer at a crisis text line, and we help people of all ages with so many different types of issues. There is always someone here for you, 24/7. In Canada the numbers to text are: Youth – text: WELLNESS, HOME, or CONNECT to 686868
Adult – text: WELLNESS to 741741